I am going to let you in a on a little secret….
I used to HATE New Year’s Day. New Beginnings!! A fresh new year!! Bah….Humbug. This day reminded me of how I had failed at my resolutions to get my life (and weight) under control. I had been overweight my whole adult life. I had made excuses over the years as to why I could not lose weight, such as time, energy, work, hormones, stress, age etc., but every New Year’s Day I would beat myself up and promise THIS was going to be the year I would finally lose weight. However, New Year’s Day would come around again and I would be in a worse place mentally, physically and had gained even more weight than the prior year. It’s not that I didn’t try, but it was just so darn hard to lose weight and keep it off.
Let’s talk about the 8 steps I took to change my life and had the best New Year’s Day in 2021, and what I did to achieve a 100-pound weight loss. I hope that this might motivate to make this New Year’s THE year!!
What was different about January 1, 2020? Motivation!! I found out that I was pre-diabetic and with my family history of Type 2 diabetes, I knew it was only a matter of time that I would be diagnosed with diabetes. As a Nurse Practitioner, I knew that the consequences of a chronic disease like diabetes were NOT something that I was ready to accept. The most important factor in any weight loss journey is having a why. This is what will motivate you during your journey and help you to not lose sight of why you are on this health journey.
Before I started on my healthy, low calorie (1500 calories) plan in January 2020, I started tracking what I ate every day, every single bite, every single drink for one week before changing my diet. Let me just say this, I was in shock by the number of calories I was eating. Did I always eat “bad” foods? No, but my portion sizes were out of control and high calorie sauces/dressings were my friend, as well as wine. I realized that the lie that I had been telling myself that I don’t eat that much was a BIG one. I realized I had plenty of room to decrease my calories. This was an awakening of sorts to see that I really was over-eating pretty much every meal.
How did I deal with not feeling overwhelmed with weight loss? I would ask myself one very important question when faced with decisions about my weight loss journey, “will this bring me closer to my weight loss goal this week?” For instance, would eating out with my co-workers for lunch help me reach my weight loss goals that week? If the answer was no, because they were getting tacos (I looooove tacos BTW) then I would say “no thank you” and eat my lunch that I brought from home. Was I always happy about saying no (especially to tacos!)? Absolutely not!! Sometimes I was downright mad about it and cried real tears. One time while I was having a moment, I actually said that I didn’t want to be skinny and sad that I would rather be fat and happy. A little bit melodramatic, maybe? I asked myself these types of questions basically every time I thought about putting something in my mouth. I really looked at what would help me reach my weight loss goals and what would derail them.
The thought of losing a 100 pounds was very overwhelming in the beginning, so I didn’t think about the 100 pounds. I thought about the weight that I would lose that week (usually 1-3 pounds), and that was my goal each week. Those weekly goals added up over the next year and were more manageable.
You must be somewhat selfish to start and continue a weight loss journey. You are going to have to say “no” to things that aren’t beneficial to you and “yes” to beneficial things that may take time away from your friends and family. For instance, your child wants pizza every Friday night for dinner, and you can’t resist pizza then it is a “no” or a spouse that wants to go to the movies when you have a workout planned. People in your life must be supportive of your weight loss so that you can focus on reaching your goals.
8. Find a health coach, nutritionist, personal trainer, or health care provider that can help you with accountability and provide support and information. Call me!!
Being on a weight loss journey can be a very lonely experience because you are so focused on your own health and your health choices. It is hard to find people who understand or can support you through this time in your life. There are also tools and medications, supplements etc that can be used to help you attain your goals, you just need to know where to find them. Social media accounts are also a great place to find motivation or tips/tricks.
Losing weight was the hardest, most wonderful, and best thing I have ever done for myself, and guess what? On January 1, 2021, it was the first New Year’s Day that I wasn’t disappointed with myself and that was worth everything.